Ugandan Jew Brings Words of Peace

November 12, 2006

Author: Erin Richards

Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Since coming to America to represent his community of Jewish Africans, Aaron Kintu Moses said he has never in his life seen so many paved roads, so many houses that he thinks could hold at least 50 Ugandans, and so much food that he doesn't know how to eat. Advertisement

In response Thursday, students at Nicolet and Rufus King high schools tried to digest where the rabbi and elementary school principal was coming from - a tiny Jewish community in Africa, the only one of its kind in that country, whose members earn a living by working on an interfaith coffee plantation with neighboring Muslims and Christians.

In most parts of Uganda, religious groups are separated.

The stop in Milwaukee on Wednesday and Thursday was about halfway into Moses' month-long tour of the United States, a trip meant to raise awareness of the Abayudaya Jewish Community, which has received little attention since it formed in Uganda in 1919, and to raise funds for the community's interfaith primary and high schools, which currently can afford to supply only one textbook per classroom.

"Everything you have here is so marvelous," Moses said to a circle of students in Nicolet's library, who passed around photographs of the spiritual leader's school, family and fair-trade coffee plantation. "When you come to Uganda, you will realize how lucky you are to live in this country and go to these schools," he added.